Feb 14

McMillan Calls Trail Blazers’ Pride Into Question After Home Loss To Wiz

By sarahhecht
There’s no denying it was a rough night in the Rose Garden. The Trail Blazers fell to the Washington Wizards 124-109 and did it in an ugly fashion.

With Portland in the midst of a difficult patch the whooping they took from the second-worst team in the league was no help at all. Lately, there’s been something missing. That something has led to a slump. And that’s not fun for anyone.

We’ve talked about shooting. We’ve harped on defense. And we’ve debated chemistry. Tonight, Head Coach Nate McMillan brought a new beast into play, pride.

Pride is defined as the high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.   In my opinion, that translates to the basketball court in the form of believing in your talents and capabilities and performing to a level that shows them.

“For us, pride has to show up on our faces, our body, our body language, our effort and in what we do,” McMillan said. “That wasn’t out there tonight.”

McMillan has his opinions and he’s not alone. Nicolas Batum and Marcus Camby both agree with the sentiment that pride is missing when Portland takes the floor.

What I want to know is this: What is pride to you and how does that translate onto the court? If it’s missing, how do you get it back?

I’m anxious to hear your opinions.


  1. This is were u miss Roy and Miller the most. they were two very similar guys who didn't get along because they were to much alike. But one thing they did was ensure pride in this team they could make you better just for knowing them. They had a never give up attitude. When the team wasn't scoring they could along with LA put this team on their back and carry the heavy load. You want to know what were missing its the never die attitude. Its the pride of 2 leaders who both put up 52 point games and carried this team over the last 5 years at different times. I watch these games and compared to the last 5 years you can tell something has gone. we lack swagger we settle for meritocracy and we get walked on. We need to find the desire to not give up the fire that burns in side and lets us know that when a team plays us we are not the underdogs. Bring back the swagger the head bob from LA after a dunk, the slamming blake griffen into the floor and not letting him get away with silly crap. And dont for get the confidence to shoot a 35 foot 3 pointer with .08 left on the clock with the Rockets about to soar. Most of all show you have love for the game. Thats my thoughts any way. Bring back the swagger

    by Avgjoe28 on 2/15/2012 12:07 AM
  2. My father always told me, "Don't be arrogant, arrogance is what you say about your self, weather true or not." He would then follow with, "Be silent about your merits and have pride in what you do. Though not all of them will be noticed. If you gain recognition, your silence will make those around you 'Know' you are deserving."

    I guess this speaks of Humility as well as Pride.

    On the court. This could be hindered by doubt. In how you shoot the ball, of weather you are deserving, and if the other team respects what your capable of.

    Right now I would agree...The team is not proud of who they are...Felton has been put on an island of fault...Wesley has not shot as well...Wallace struggles on the road...They feel the gravity, crashing "up" to meet them as they strike it. When the other guards on teams look for the rebound then contest the shot...that doesn't make you feel like you can walk onto the court with pride...

    by Devon Malone on 2/15/2012 4:56 AM
  3. Hey Miss Sarah:
    Boy you hit on a subject that can be debated for infinity.
    In some cases you cannot define pride if you never had it,
    Pride to me is not so much your self worth but giving any job your full attention and all that you have.
    This is not a feel sorry for Hg thing, but just to explain what pride is to me.
    I am 71 years old, and because of past health problems had to find employment that and my self pride of putting my body to the grind to help with the cost of living. So as I more or less clean toilets for a living at 10 dollars an hour; on nights when I get to my 20th to 30th toilet, and my back is aching, I can't kneel on my artificial knees any more, I start feeling like I could take short cuts and make it look like I did a good job, but my pride won't let me. When I made a contract with whomever, I feel I gave my word to do the job to the best of my ability. Because of that I keep pushing myself to what I feel is excellence, then when I am done, I can get up see my accomplishments and have pride in the fact that I did the best job possible at the time.
    Nate may have hit on a good point. fatigue takes over in many cases and it is much easier to just go through the motions then it is to dig inside and finding the intestinal fortitude to keep doing their jobs to the best of their ability; that is where self pride should take over, regardless of the opponents, the pay, or if you are better or worst then your opponents, you still give it your all.
    As Devon Malone said above don’t be arrogant in thinking you are better, you don’t need to broadcast your accomplishments or make excuses for the lack of ability at the time. If you can look back after the work is done and regardless of win or lose, you can say a job well done.
    I have often said win or lose, if the players goes out and does everything they can do for 48 minutes then they are winners to me. I have seen that in many games when the opponents are equal in their eyes, but not in the games where the opponents win, loss record is below 500. That is being somewhat arrogant in their body language as to say we can just coast with this inferior team and still win. That is the complete lack of pride in my book.

    Sorry about my long post, but not sorry about my passion of my team not having pride.

    by Hg on 2/15/2012 7:30 AM
  4. i'm pretty sure to recover lost pride in the nba, you have to win some games. you have to beat the teams you should beat and grab a couple of wins against teams with equal or better records. i don't see any other way around it. now, how to you do that while you're dealing with a lack of pride? i think lack of pride and lack of confidence, in cases such as this, go hand in hand.

    my parents have been extremely proficient in passing on what they've learned to myself and my siblings. basically, they say to be an effective leader is not about having ego or "being the boss." rather, it's about giving your people the tools they require to get the job done.

    Nate needs to apply this principle. when we need rebounding, he needs to put in rebounders (i.e. Marcus, Kurt and Craig); when we need guys who can drive to the hoop, we put in those guys (i.e. Crash, Nicolas and Wesley); and so forth. imo, he needs to abandon whatever rotation, player preferences and submission plans he has. i'd say, he almost needs to work the rotation on the fly in a lot of cases. this would seem to go against his style, but his style is just plain not working at this point. for example, Nolan is quick and is a pretty good defender. when we need that, put him in there, regardless of what quarter it is and what the clock says.

    please don't read me wrong; i'm not trying to put it all on Nate (though he does hold his share of the responsibility). my words here are as part a solution to the greater picture. the other thing is that preparation is the key. study film every waking minute. find the opponent's weaknesses and turn them to our advantage.

    in order to regain pride, we have to regain confidence. in order to regain confidence, we have to win games. with LaMarcus out at least tonight, it would be a great place to start. i can think of nothing more that would instill a new sense of confidence and pride than a win without our all-star in the building where we've had the least amount of success over the past half-dozen years or so.

    you treat tonight's game against golden state as a must win. then go out and win it. then, you start gaining back things such as confidence and pride.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 2/15/2012 9:59 AM
  5. Hey Miss Kassandra: I totally agree with you on what needs to be done, but IMO, winning will not give you pride, maybe false pride. I bowl against some pretty good women bowlers; I debate against terrific women analysis with terrific BBIQ. In my old school way, it is said that I have no pride if I let a woman beat me. To that I say hog wash. I have no lost of pride letting a woman or a lesser bowler beat me, if I am giving it my best shot and do the best job I know how. I do agree that confidence creates many problems but destroying pride it should not. You don't need to win games or be a ostentatious boor to have pride (King James).
    Self pride is acknowledgment that you go out and be the best you can be regardless of the consequences, or fear of loss.

    As I said in my first post to Miss Sarah, I am not as uptight about wins or losses as I am about the team playing hard for 48 minutes and not taking the easy way out. Then they can lose with pride, not saying that they don’t lose confidence.
    You outwit me all the time, but I have not loss pride, just gained knowledge for the next time. But, hey that is just my opinion as I said the debate of pride could go on forever. This is more of an interaction then a debate :).

    by Hg on 2/15/2012 11:39 AM
  6. @Hg: that's an interesting point. i would, however, put this question to you: do teams who are winning championships and always battling for the title at the end feel pride by simply playing a good game? no. no great team is happy with any loss whatsoever. no great team takes pride in a close game. i believe teams take pride in wins, and challenging ones at that. i believe teams take pride in overcoming obstacles such as injuries en route to a win. the same goes for confidence. we could say we gained some pride from sending the dallas game into double overtime. if so, what to we gain from putting ourselves in such a huge hole in the first half of that game?

    since i'm in the midst of mid-term week (finished presentation to my professor for one class just moments ago), i'm going to apply this to school. if i were to get the equivalent of a B on an exam or paper even though i felt i tried my hardest, i would not be prideful of that. i know that i can and should get an A/A+ each and every time out. that's how much drive, determination and heart i have in myself. one of my favorite movie quotes is by Sean Connery in The Rock: "losers always whine about doing their best; winners go home and (blank) the prom queen."

    as for our conversations, i've never tried to upstage you. we happen to agree on most things, so there's never been any competition. demographically speaking, we're about as opposite as there is. i've always enjoyed hearing your perspective on the blazers. i can't ever imagine that will change.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 2/15/2012 1:52 PM
  7. Miss Kassandra:
    It may be the difference in definition of pride. To me you are talking about vanity, not pride. If you studied, prepared yourself the best you could took the test with your best shot and came out with a B, how would that hurt your pride. It may hurt your dignity, your vanity, or even delusions of Grandar, but to me that isn't pride. There has been time in my life when things wasn't going well for varies reason's, but I always took pride in myself. I couldn't match you in brain power or many things in life, but that does not make me less prideful of the fact that I gave it my all and got a B then you would to get an A. I have pride in my word. that may not mean much to many, but when the only thing you have going for you is yourself then pride in giving your word means a lot, Or even a handshake agreement, should come with pride of both.
    When the players sign the dotted line they are promising to fullfill the contract, if they only half heartedly try then they lacking in pride of giving their word.

    You have a very high standard of yourself in many walks of life. If you fail at one or the other, is no reason to lose pride in your self unless you just didn't put in the effort. You are smart and could probably Ace most test without trying, Many BB players can win games depending on their athleticism; if either of you can't dig inside to prepare yourself for the test at hand then you take no pride in the test.
    as said that depends on individual feelings of pride. I am just saying because I can’t win all the time doesn’t mean I don’t have pride, but if I lay back and let my teammates or team mate do all the work, and I get as much of the glory, then I would not take much pride in a win.

    by Hg on 2/15/2012 3:12 PM
  8. I just watched 7 minutes of the play. It´s worse than lack of pride. They seemed to play as if they were, each of them, playing alone in a kind of lonely poor world where losing or winning was an indifferent or rather a no hope matter. A lack-of-confidence problem. This is also a coach matter/question.

    by sopadeajo on 2/15/2012 4:25 PM
  9. Hi everyone! Our son Scottie is the biggest Blazers fan we have ever seen. He's fighting a life threatening illness and following the Blazers is his number one uplift! He got the courage to blog for the first time after last night's game. Short asking the hospital staff to join the blogger network, we're without a clue as to how to get him some feedback. If anyone would be willing to comment on his blog and give him encouragement to keep blogging, we would sure be grateful. His blog is entitled "Valentine's Day Massacre??" Thanks Blazer friends!

    by DixxtheStix on 2/15/2012 4:25 PM
  10. First you must eliminate the problem. I think it is Felton..... who should be averaging 10+ assists but instead he continually drives to the hoop out of control and makes poor on ball decisions bringing his team down, his defense is sub-par for a quick man. meaning his steal and distraction reactions on defense are nowhere near where they need to be. With his quickness he should be able to stop all but 1 or 2 PG's in the league on a nightly basis. Is what he's showing the best he has in a contract year? As a PG you are the floor general and your attitude is reflected by your team. Get a mid-range game add to your assist totals, and play much better defense and the team will get out of the first round, if not I don't believe we will make the playoffs this year.

    by mbmurr1 on 2/18/2012 11:11 AM
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